Member of Parliament for St Catherine North Central Natalie Neita has threatened to sue the West Indies Alumina Company (WINDALCO) over its alleged contamination of the Rio Cobre river, adding that a chemical spill has been affecting the health and livelihood of residents especially in and around Kent Village.
“I am prepared now to file suit on behalf of the residents of the community,” Neita said.
She thinks the company is being negligent regarding the overflow of its chemical waste that seems to be ending up repeatedly in a tributary of the river.
Neita questioned whether the spills are also causing residents to experience diarrhea and other ailments, considering that they rely on the Rio Cobre water for virtually everything.
“They utilize the river for almost everything – for bathing, for fishing, for washing – even consuming the water at times because there are some sections of the water that can be very very clear,” the parliamentarian said during an interview on Nationwide Radio.
She continued: “I believe there is negligence on the part of the company for something that will affect the lives of people – and I don’t mean their livelihoods; I mean their actual lives.”
The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), in the meanwhile, said its preliminary findings indicate that caustic soda has been overflowing at WINDALCO.
The agency added that it received report of a possible fish kill in the Rio Cobre, in the vicinity of Bog Walk Gorge. That report was received approximately 8PM on Tuesday, October 15.
“The agency has deployed a technical team to investigate the report and will provide further updates,” NEPA further said. It urged the public not to collect the dead fish for consumption.
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